Tag Archives: Sampling Tables

HELP! A beginner’s guide to in-store sampling.

Brandstand - Cadbury In-store SamplingAs the foremost supplier of sampling vendor trays and demonstration tables in New Zealand, we want to help you get the most you can from your in-store sampling campaign. There are a few things to consider, so here’s a helpful round-up.

Research

Both PROGS and Foodstuffs have regulations on what you can and can’t do in their stores. It’s best to do your research early as these stores are important to your business and your brand. Don’t blow the relationship in the early stages by not following the rules.

 

Objectives Think about what you want this campaign to achieve. Take a look at the options below and pick ONE primary objective then focus on delivering against it. Here are your choices:

  • Sales
  • Awareness
  • Trial

You’ll desperately want to pick more than one, but that can get confusing. By knowing what you want from this campaign, you’ll be able to measure your success and make certain choices much easier.

Optimising Sales

 

Brandstand NZ - supermarket sampling using sampling/demonstation table and header cardMake sure you have sale product on or near the demonstration table; you’ll want your sampling staff to encourage shoppers to select it then and there as part of their script. We recommend you include a coupon in your planning. We find this works better than an in-store special, because you physically give the shopper a coupon and they feel they need to use it there and then! Make sure you count the number of products on the shelf at the beginning of the in-store shift and the products on the table, and then count them at the end so you can measure just how amazing the shift has been! Make sure everyone does this for every shift and then start a competition to really drive those sales up!

Maximising Awareness

 

Brandstand NZ - In-store sampling table and header card

Crunchy Nut gets noticed!

Use a good sized table, perhaps with a banner over the top. You want to grab attention and get your brand in people’s faces. Think about how you ‘cut through’the clutter of brands and people in the supermarket. People tend to shop on auto-pilot so you need to work extra hard to get noticed. Think about doing something different or quirky. Perhaps have your sampling staff dress up a little differently or consider some giveaways that get your brand in people’s homes.

Gaining Trial

Brandstand NZ - Vendor TraysWhy not consider not having a demonstration table at all! This is where our Vendor trays come in really handy. Instead of passively waiting for shoppers to approach your table, with a vendor tray or mobile trolley you can actively target the right demographic with your product. If you have to have a table, then consider a secondary ‘hand off’ stand, which is a simple branded plinth where you place your tray of samples. This allows you to keep your main table as working space while your prepared product sits close-by, yet easy for shoppers to get to. This hand-off stand can have shelves included so as to provide an extra space for off-location merchandising.

Sampling Kit Brandstand NZ - easy to carry bag contains all the sampling kitYou want your sampling staff spending all their time actually in-store with your product, not walking backwards and forwards from the car park. So, keep your kit well packed and easy to transport. Most of our tables are designed to fit into a supermarket trolley and be quick to set up and dismantle – no fiddly screws and no tools required!

Site Safe Most supermarkets require sampling staff to have Site Safe passes. After you’ve spent hours booking your shift, don’t fall at the first hurdle by not having accreditation or by leaving your pass at home. Generally it’s an easy online course, so there’s no excuse!

Functionality Think about the size of your table and what you’re doing at the table. If you’re sampling dry goods, then you might not need much space. Go for a smaller table because you’ll have more flexibility over where it can be set up. Remember that if you need electricity, then your location and the timing of your shift will be severely limited. Most stores only have a couple of ‘powered sites’ so book early to avoid disappointment!

If you’re cooking on your stand, then think about how ‘on display’you want this to be. Perhaps the microwave can go under the table if it’s not a key feature of your product. We can tailor our tables to your requirements, adding shelving and heat retardant materials where necessary. We can also conceal cables too so that everything looks neat, well organised and appetising!

Graphics

Investing in sampling equipment is a big step. Don’t go for permanent graphics which can’t be changed. Instead, invest in hardware once and then change out the graphics panels when you need to. Consider our new fabric graphics panels which are easy to use, super lightweight and can be washed over and over again so your table always looks brand new!

Measuring Success Think about how you measure your campaign – don’t just rely on hearsay. If you want to count how many people you spoke to, then count your coupons at the beginning and end and be sure to give everyone you speak to a coupon! If your campaign is all about sales, then count the products on the shelf before and after. If you want to know what people think about your product, then have two bins for their paper plate, one marked LOVE IT and then the other marked YUK perhaps! If you want to grow your database, then run a Free Prize Draw, inviting people to fill in a card and post it in the box – but make sure the prize is worthwhile because generally people don’t stop for long when they’re on a shopping mission.

Timing Think about your target market and think about when they go shopping. If awareness was your initial objective then make sure you’re in the supermarket at it’s busiest time – perhaps a Friday night or a Saturday morning. If your target market tends to be older and retired then they often avoid the supermarket at these times, preferring a mid week. Do some research and ask the store manager to make sure you’re in the right place, on the right day at the right time. If kids are your target, then go for the after school slot around 3pm onwards. Twenty-somethings will often go shopping on a Thursday or Friday evening after work because they have other, way-cooler stuff to do on the weekend!

Brandstand NZ - TimingIt’s tempting to agree to any in-store slot that is offered to you by the supermarket, but why waste the opportunity – better to wait for the right time and day so you optimise your shift.

Branded Demo/Sampling Tables

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.
Benjamin Franklin

Let’s be honest, this quote is a little over-used but it still rings true when talking about product demonstrations and trials. It’s important to involve your audience not simply talk or teach to them.

As the #1 display company in NZ, we at Brandstand have a few ways to help you achieve this.

First of all, you need a demo table. And have we got a LOT of demo tables!  We’re probably the biggest supplier of demo tables to FMCG brands and supermarket sampling companies in New Zealand.

Neat Demo Table and sampling kits for Symbio!

Neat Demo Table for Symbio!

As well as simple off-the-shelf solutions which include a plastic top and branded wrap, we can create even more impact with poles and an overhead Header Card. It’s a simple solution but it works, because suddenly your sampling station can be seen right across the supermarket. These are easy and quick to set up in-store and they’re built tough for repeated use.

Crunchy Nut gets noticed in the Supermarket

Crunchy Nut gets noticed!

Want to jazz it up a bit? No problem, we’ve got various shapes and sizes to create a bit more interest. We can also put your branding on washable fabric to make the whole package even more lightweight, even simpler to set up, and even easier to keep looking tip-top. (Did I hear Ice Cream? Yep we supplied tables for a Tip Top sampling campaign too!).

various Demo Table options, including product sampling trays

Consider a Sampling Tray when you want to roam around the store.

 

Brandstand iPad/tablet interactive branded display UnitBut a table alone isn’t enough. That’s why we’ve got a range of leaflet holders, product display shelving and iPad/tablet holders to help create greater interaction. Need to cook on the stand? No problem, we’ll keep you safe with heat reflective materials, reinforced shelves, and built in chopping boards where required.

Still not cutting it, then what about a totally bespoke solution?  We love a challenge and have the best “can-do” people in the industry – that’s why Cadbury’s experiential agency approached us first.  We were asked to come up with something magical in-store to support Cadbury’s Joyville ATL campaign. We came up with this incredible sampling machine! It had kids and adults queuing up to get a taste and brought the TVC to life for many. It actually dispenses chocolate down a chute!

Brandstand's magical in-stire sampling machine

Magical!

Brandstand has years of experience, working with many of NZ’s experiential agencies. We understand why solutions must be easy to transport, why the gear needs to be built tough and why it must be simple to assemble. It’s why so many NZ agencies work with us; and because we ALWAYS get the job done on time and on budget!

Take a look at some of the demo tables we’ve created over the years, right here at our online showroom. It’s a great source for ideas, and if you see something you like, give us a call on 0800 10 99 88.